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What to look for in employee handbooks

Being a new employee can be very scary and exciting at the same time. After all, there are new processes to learn and new duties to master; all the while getting used to new co-workers. Your first week in a new position can be a blur; but with everything going on, it is helpful to remember your rights and benefits as they are articulated in the employee handbook.

Most handbooks collect dust after a new employee’s orientation session. Because of this, we find it prudent to remind our readers of what they should pay attention to in their employee handbooks. 

Standards of Conduct – First and foremost, your handbook will likely include specific details about office dress codes and ethical obligations and treatment of other employees. While many standards do not come with specific enforcement details, it is good to pay attention to these standards because an employer could cite them in disciplining you.

Policies regarding leave –  It is expected that at some point, you will want to take some time off. Your Your handbook should have information about how you may request vacation time as well as how you can report sick time.

Compensation – You likely will know how much you will be paid, but your handbook should include important information about overtime pay (if applicable) as well as directives for when performance reviews will be conducted and how bonuses are calculated.

Anti-discrimination policies – Your employer must adhere to state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, or religion. So your handbook will also include information about the expectation that employees refrain from harassing other employees.

If you have additional questions about your employee handbook, an experienced employment law attorney can help. 

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